History

St. Laurence Church was built in the 11th century and extended in the 12th and 13th centuries. It is built mainly of Flint and Caen Stone and is mainly Norman and early English in style with some Victorian alterations.

The roof was raised in 1350 and the tower was raised to its present height in 1439, after being struck by lightning – the difference in stone is very noticeable. The views from the top are quite spectacular and on a clear day France can be seen.

The Victorians removed the box pews and galleries and replaced them with the current pews and were responsible for most of the beautiful stained-glass windows. The West Window is in honour of Sir Thomas Noel Harris “who fought and bled for his Country……….in the famous Battle of Waterloo”. The East Window is in commemoration of the fact that Queen Victoria worshipped in the Church as a child.

Interesting hatchments line the rafters and some of the larger stones are over 300 years old, of the monuments and brasses several are over 400 years old.

The Churchyard covers three and a half acres and contains over 1,400 graves and several famous people rest their bones there, including:

(Left) Sir William Garrow (1760-1840) who was responsible for the British adversarial system of law “innocent until proven guilty”.

(Right) Dr. Collis Browne (1819-1884) inventor of chlorodyne and two grandchildren of George III in the now ruined D’Este Mausoleum.

 

The Churchyard is now managed for Wildlife. It is a haven for birds, butterflies, bees and bats and a quiet oasis of peace in a busy part of suburbia.

 

Images taken from;

St. Lawrence Church – http://www.ramsgatehistory.com/album/St%20Lawrence%20&%20West%20Cliff/slides/ramsgate_remembered_217.html
Sir William Garrow – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Garrow
Dr. Collis Browne – http://dustyheaps.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/beware-of-imitations-either-cure-all-or.html